I just spent a weekend in Canada. Canadians repeatedly went out of their way to help me with directions, recommendations, and customer service. Strangers on the street actually greeted me with quaint phrases like, “Have a nice day,” and “Terrific weather isn’t it?” I found myself wondering, would us Americans be happier like this if we had national health care and better employee benefits? Maybe it’s the one-year maternity leave that new Moms get. Speaking with some of the folks I met in Canada, they said their happiness (Canada is ranked the 6th happiest country in the world) comes from their strong social ties and sense of community as well as their emphasis on peak physical and mental health. A cab driver told me he was eating more vegetables lately since the Canadian government stressed the importance of less animal protein in a healthy diet. His family was celebrating Thanksgiving that night with stuffed squash, sweet potatoes, grains, and a “little” bit of turkey. Canadians are cool.
While in Canada, I discovered a shoe designer named John Fluevog who designs the craziest, most colorful, delightfully whimsical shoes for both men and women. He began in Vancouver but has now branched out throughout the United States and online. I could hardly decide which pair to purchase! Canadians are cool.
I spent some time in Chinatown, strolling through the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park Chinese gardens, and sampling tea in the various tea shops and salons. I was able to do a custom tea tasting at Ten Ren Tea on Main Street, and sample their green tea mixed with yellow osmanthus flowers. It was mild, sweet, grassy, and delicious. Canadians are cool.
While in Vancouver, I stayed at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia built in 1927. The lobby has cozy nooks with couches by a fireplace, a Prohibition-era speakeasy, and concierges that are friendly, personable, and get the job done. (Daphne, even refused a tip from us because she was unable to get us a reservation at the time and place we requested. ) Canadians are cool.
On my last night, I went to the Imagine Dragons concert at Roger’s Arena in Vancouver. No line to get in. No line for t-shirts. No line for restrooms. Ushers to help one find one’s seat. In other words…. this wasn’t a concert in the United States! Also, I was able to buy FRONT ROW seats for face value. Yep, Canadians are cool.
That is why we call Vancouver our second home away from Seattle. Only 90 miles from our house we spend many weekends in Vancouver enjoying the beauty of the city. My grandfather was Canadian before moving to Seattle and loved both cities. A true International city.